Patterson v. Thatcher

Decision Date10 December 1935
Docket NumberNo. 73.,73.
Citation263 N.W. 882,273 Mich. 597
CourtMichigan Supreme Court


Action by Mary Patterson against T. Thomas Thatcher. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendant appeals.

Reversed and remanded.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Muskegon County, in Chancery; John Vanderwerp, Judge.

Argued before the Entire Bench.

William J. Balgooyen, of Muskegon Heights, and Kelley, Sessions, Warner & Eger, of Lansing, for appellant.

Alexis J. Rogoski, of Muskegon, for appellee.

WIEST, Justice.

The evening of St. Patrick's Day, 1933, while plaintiff was riding in an automobile, driven by her husband, in a southerly direction upon a gravel road, and defendant was driving an automobile in a northerly direction upon the same road, the automobiles collided, plaintiff was seriously injured, brought this suit, and had verdict and judgment for $2,000. The issue in the case was one of fact as to which automobile was out of its proper path. Defendant prosecutes review, claiming error in refusing to direct a verdict at the close of plaintiff's proofs, at the close of all the proofs, in denying judgment non obstante verdicto, and refusing to grant a new trial on the ground that the verdict was contrary to the great weight of the evidence.

Plaintiff's husband gave no testimony relative to the accident, claiming amnesia, both anterograde and retrograde and, therefore, no memory of the happening. This was unfortunate, for he was the driver of the car in which plaintiff was riding, and which defendant claimed was on the wrong side of the road, and his loss of memory brought plaintiff's uncorroborated testimony into direct conflict with defendant's testimony and that of two others riding in his car and disinterested persons who saw the wheel and skid marks on the roadbed immediately after the collision.

Before another trial the morbid condition of plaintiff's husband may improve, memory of the accident appear, and his testimony become available, for the medical testimony offered by plaintiff was to the effect that return of memory, to some extent, might be expected in the course of two or three years, and more than two years have now elapsed since the accident.

Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff, as we must upon defendant's motions for a directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict, the court was not in error in denying such motions.

This brings us to the question of whether a new trial should have been granted.

The jury weighs the evidence, it is true, but upon review, under the allegation that the verdict rendered is against the weight of the evidence, we examine the record and determine whether the verdict is so...

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10 cases
  • Fitzcharles v. Mayer
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • April 4, 1938
    ...v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 260 Mich. 688, 245 N.W. 548. The same rule applies in the consideration of the case on appeal. Patterson v. Thatcher, 273 Mich. 597, 263 N.W. 882;Berke v. Murphy, 280 Mich. 633, 274 N.W. 356. Plaintiff was where he had a right to be, and it was a question of fact whe......
  • Murchie v. Standard Oil Co.
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • February 20, 1959
    ...a new trial, see In re McIntyre's Estate, 160 Mich. 117, 125 N.W. 51; People v. Spencer, 199 Mich. 395, 165 N.W. 921; Patterson v. Thatcher, 273 Mich. 597, 263 N.W. 882, we only grant a new trial when we conclude from a review of the evidence that the verdict is manifestly against the clear......
  • People v. Omacht, 66
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • June 27, 1950
    ...even though it was exacting and disagreeable.' We follow the practice so simply described by Mr. Justice Wiest in Patterson v. Thatcher, 273 Mich. 597, 600, 263 N.W. 882, 883: 'We confine ourselves to a comprehensive review of all of the evidence, having in mind the burden of proof and acco......
  • Pulford v. Mouw
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • April 21, 1937
    ...ultimate facts.’ Hillman Tp. Board v. Empire Insurance Co., 253 Mich. 394, 235 N.W. 194, 195. As we recently said in Patterson v. Thatcher, 273 Mich. 597, 263 N.W. 882, 883: ‘We confine ourselves to a comprehensive review of all of the evidence, having in mind the burden of proof and accord......
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